Bridgeport’s Kelly Carey is not only the owner of a soon-to-open Main Street boutique, “Raising June,” but she is also the designer and seamstress for the store’s baby and children’s clothing line.
“I really owe all my inspiration to my children,” she said. “I started my sewing journey for my daughter who needed more comfortable clothing. She has cerebral palsy and as she got older, she started becoming more difficult to dress because of the muscle rigidity, but also because she’s very petite.”
It was just a few years ago when Carey, then working as a nurse, began sewing for her little girl, Mia.
“The first thing I made with a little tiny sewing machine – and YouTube video – was a pair of bell bottoms to fit her long legs and tiny waist,” she said.
After researching and teaching herself how to make quality, compliant clothing, Carey opened “Mo Baby,” an online shop featuring handmade children’s clothing made of mostly organic fabrics.
“Mia’s health declined, and she required multiple surgeries, so that’s when I made the decision to quit my job and open my business,” she said.
The clothes are not only soft and of high quality, but also the safer option for children.
“I am very particular with fabric bases. My favorite is American milled organic cotton,” Carey said. “The quality is unbeatable and it’s the safer option for babies and children, especially little ones who cannot regulate their body temperatures. Some fabrics can be very toxic,” she said.
Carey said she prefers a slow fashion approach and likes to let the child’s character show through. She said she has been blessed with the public’s response to her designs.
“My small shop really took off online and now, I am able to open my storefront and bring my vision to more people,” she said.
That vision includes an inventory of Mo Baby designs, but also toys, shoes, accessories; and other items that align with the values she strives to uphold through her company.
“I really believe in ‘buy less, choose well, and make it last,’” Carey said. “So, I will be carrying a lot of eco-friendly, sustainable and heirloom pieces that can be treasured and then passed down, along with other highly loved and rated items.”
Carey and her husband Jason are also parents to 3-year-old Oliver. His addition to the family brought even more inspiration for her designs.
“I love being able to share pieces with my daughter and son, so I love gender-neutral styles,” she said. “However, I do occasionally find a wildly, cute print for a holiday that I cannot pass up.”
The name Raising June has a significant meaning.
“Raising signifies raising children to speak for those with no voice – raising kind, loving, and accepting children,” Carey said.
And June is a tribute to her first daughter, AdaBelle June.
“She passed away in utero at 39 weeks due to unknown cause which we now believe to be genetics related,” Carey said. “So, I did not get the opportunity to raise her, but I grew and loved her very much.”
Raising June will be located at 153 West Main Street, Suite C of The Chandler Building, located across from Dairy Queen. Carey hopes to be open by the end of October. The shop will include a play area for children to occupy them while grownups shop.
Carey has more vision for the future.
“I really hope to make this more than just a shop. I’d love to host mommy groups for children to come play together and moms to socialize and share their stories,” she said.
Stay up to date at Raising June and Mo Baby Facebook and Instagram accounts.